The Future of Online Learning?
The future of online learning is vital to everyone, especially for the students learning online. Since COVID-19 and many lockdowns have resulted in many schools going online, this has resulted in people doing online learning instead of physically going to classrooms. Though many people liked this transition, many students didn’t. People either performed well after a change or struggled because of the switch.
There can be a lot of adverse effects of online learning, but there are also positives. For example, increased stress, anxiety, and virtual learning fatigue are some of the negative impacts of online learning.
Some benefits of online learning include flexibility.
Benefits of online learning
Online learning can be affordable, too, due to the few resources needed that you o would need in a traditional school classroom setup. Another benefit of online education has a flexible schedule to work with if you don’t have many zoom calls or none. You can also review class materials anytime you want. You’ll also have more time to do the activities.
In the article usa.edu “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average daily commute time is 54.2 minutes. If you’re like most people, you’d probably rather avoid traffic or crowded public transportation. Hence, saving that 54 minutes per day (or more) will free up time you can spend working, exercising, having fun, or connecting with loved ones”.
Working independently can also reduce your stress since you’re working on your own time. Also, since you’re learning online, you can work in an environment of your choice. Learning online can lead you to develop healthy habits. For example, according to usa.edu, “Studying from home can also give you more time to focus on self-care. Whether through self-reflection, meditation, or yoga, practicing self-care can help boost your confidence and emotional intelligence.” There may be a lot of benefits to online learning, but there are also many negatives.
Why Negative effects of online learning
There have been many negative effects on teens’ mental health because of online learning. Some things they’ve been suffering from are increased stress, anxiety, and virtual learning fatigue. Many of these issues developed because of student’s isolation. Before the switch, the school was a place to interact and socialize for students and staff. However, since the switch happened, many students have had less social interaction. Some students have found it challenging and unmotivated to do work.
According to the article, High Focus Centers social isolation harms mental health and physical health. They can also feel more stress and anxiety with the pressure of keeping up with their school work.
Staying focused may also be an issue. Along with getting the extra help they need to be successful in their class. Virtual fatigue is also another issue with online learning. With online learning, especially with multiple zoom classes, people get mentally drained sitting behind a device.
“When we have in-person interactions, there are a number of non-verbal cues our brains process. These cues include tone and pitch of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, and body language. When it’s difficult or impossible to pick-up on these cues, our brain must work harder to interpret the information that it’s receiving. On its own, this can cause extra mental fatigue.” — High focus Centers
Will online learning be accessible to everyone, and will it be the future?
Over a quarter (27%) of university students could not access online learning during the Covid-19 lockdown. This research suggests that disabled students and those from poorer backgrounds were worst affected.
This has resulted in disabled students struggling to access online learning. This challenge will need to be figured out to ensure online education is accessible to all.
Do more students prefer online learning?
A recent survey by Inside higher says, “Preference for online education varied among different demographic groups. People aged 25 to 49 expressed greater enthusiasm for online-only options than people aged 18 to 24, or 50 or older. Black Americans also looked more favorably on online education than Asian, white or Latino respondents, and they had the most confidence in its quality.” As you can see in the survey, there are many different results. It also seems like, according to the article, race plays a role in that.
Have students been failing more since the transition?
A recent article made by Forbes shows, “Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, and The Washington Post’s interpretation of it, shows the dangers of trying to analyze change, in this case, the transition from traditional teaching to online delivery, prompted by the pandemic. According to the study, there was an 83% increase in the number of high school and college students who failed at least two subjects, rising from 6% to 11%.” This survey shows that ever since switching to online learning. There have been more students failing.
Is online learning better than face-to-face?
For some people, online learning is better than face-to-face. However, many other people feel like face-to-face is better.
“Online teaching, as delivered during the pandemic, is obviously not as good as face-to-face teaching. Any type of innovation in methodology was rejected, and with students and teachers typically lacking in equipment and training.”
Online learning doesn’t offer much of the stuff face-to-face does. The future of online learning involves more than simply doing the same thing we do in a face-to-face class.
“We are faced with a common problem: that technology is magic and will automatically improve results by itself, simply by doing the same thing as before. If we really want to develop online teaching, using computers to actually replace classrooms, rather than a mere substitute at times of crisis, we will have to go about things very differently. Do students hate online classes? Yes, when what they are being taught is not adapted properly, and is instead merely a reproduction of the classroom and involves listening to a person talking to a camera for an hour. Under these conditions, learning is not just hard work, so is staying awake. That said, not all children hate it: for some, it works very well.” — Forbes
Many students dislike online.
They dislike it because most students have to listen to their teacher online. However, if it was correctly adapted, their opinion could change. For example, if school districts focused on making online learning fun would ensure more individuals would be onboard.
Has Online Learning made the environment better?
Online learning has made a positive impact on the environment. An article by thestarfish.ca:
“Taking virtual classes enables students to stay at home and learn with comfort while avoiding wear-and-tear on vehicles and local roads. In addition, students can avoid the need to drive cars or take public transits to the place of study, which can help reduce fossil fuel use and lessen detrimental effects on the environment. By eliminating the need for daily commutes, we, students, can reduce our carbon footprints and minimize our impacts on the Earth. Furthermore, we can also save money on gas. A study by the University of West Georgia indicated that for every 100 students who did not commute to school, CO2 emissions were cut by 5–10 tons per semester.”
Takeaway on the future of online learning
Since COVID-19 online learning has not been at its best, of course, there are dislikes and likes, as is with any pedagogy or technology. If online teaching and learning are analyzed and pitfalls found, it could be a winner.
It’ll be beneficial for a lot of students.